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Monday, October 12, 2020

My Blustery Autumn Weekend in Pictures

It was a wet and windy weekend here in the northwest. That's about what we can expect this time of year. Just before the rain, leaves swirled down, littering the lawn, garden, and driveway. At this point, the leaves are simply a beautiful reminder of the season. We'll get to raking them up later in the month.

As a result of the turn in weather, I spent almost all of my time indoors (with exceptions to darting outside to harvest whatever I needed for the time). It was a productive weekend. Here are visuals of the highlights:

autumn-inspired brownies -- very, very simple. Lightly place candy corn pieces onto top of batter before baking; do not press into batter. I used this recipe, but baked in the traditional oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

bread -- with wet weather came cooler temps. Baking loaves of bread helped heat the kitchen just as we were sitting down to a soup supper.

crimson crabapple and spice jelly -- one of several batches in the next 2 weeks (our tree is loaded). Pro-tip: use lightweight scissors to clip the apples from the branches to harvest hard to pluck crabapples -- the picking goes much faster and doesn't damage next year's fruiting spurs.

3 small jars of bread and butter pickles with almost the last of the cucumbers

more dill relish with some green tomatoes that were showing signs of blight (trimming away the browning parts first) and garden-fresh dill weed. We now have 5 jars of dill relish to begin the year. I have a couple more blighted green tomatoes  waiting in the fridge to be made into sweet relish tomorrow or the next day.

herbs -- dill for the freezer and sage, oregano, and thyme to be dried

an early Saturday AM trip to Dollar Tree, picking up several bags of pretzels and jars of roasted peanuts for our winter pantry. The pretzels were a better buy at DT than Walmart's Great Value, but the peanuts were slightly more expensive at DT. Win some, lose some. I also bought some much needed liquid dish detergent, sponges, and a bottle brush.

All of this is not to say that I didn't have any less-productive moments. I played my share of games of solitaire on the computer and read lots of news sites while sitting by the electric fire in the living room (so very handy that fireplace). I also vacuumed and did laundry. But do you really want to see pictures of my vacuum or piles of laundry? I thought not.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! What kept you busy? 

A shout-out to anyone reading from Canada -- Happy Thanksgiving, friends!


  1. Yes, that sounds very productive! Bet you had delicious scents coming from your kitchen.

    We've had a busy couple of days. My son had an in-person college tour today at a small university in the upper peninsula (one of very few places doing in-person tours). It's quite a drive from our house (over 5 hours) so we made it into a mini-trip and went Sunday to Monday. With my kid's hybrid school schedules, they have online learning on Mondays; I didn't have to work and my husband had the day off for Columbus day, so the timing was perfect. Our autumn colors are at peak performance. We went to a beautiful lighthouse on Lake Superior, saw the locks on Lake Superior, and drove around in general, staying overnight in a motel. The campus tour was fun and while I'm not excited about the distance from our home, I can definitely envision our son there. He is interested in biology so one of the campus tours we did was at their fish hatchery--that was pretty neat. We had a lot of fun and it was good to get out of town.

    Have a good evening!

    1. Wait, your son is touring universities already?!!! Oh my, where did the years go? It sounds like you all had a really nice time, turning this into a mini-vacation. Good luck to your son as he moves forward in this process.

      I hope you're enjoying a beautiful fall evening, yourself, Kris!

  2. Kris, I think that was the college my son had selected as one of his choices but ended up a bit closer to home with a similar degree. His is in Biochemistry.

    Lili, your falls sounds like ours. Leaves falling and then a lot of rain yesterday with a lot of wind. We'll deal with raking the leaves a bit later. I did a little last week only because the lawn needed mowing but we'll wait until more leaves fall. We actually rake leaves many times in the fall and I have developed a good system so I don't feel wiped out after it is all done.

    Your brownies look good. We made brownies last week too! Pea soup yesterday. There were hotdogs for whoever wanted them. I had black beans, rice, sausage, beef roast with mashed potatoes and broccoli. We are now down to baking one loaf of bread at a time instead of 4 to 6. I slice it and then freeze it to keep it fresh. I even made bagels last week. How easy and fun!


    1. Hi Alice,
      Raking several times during fall does make the chore seem not so overwhelming. I'm glad you have a system for yourself.

      Yum, your meals sounds delicious! I made a meatloaf last night for the first time in months and I added some leftover cooked carrots and a diced tomato that was wrinkling. I swished water in a ketchup bottle and poured that over the top, then sprinkled with onion and garlic powders just before baking. It was really delicious, or else we were just very hungry. I've been oven-roasting the potatoes that I harvested from our garden tossed with oil, garlic, and herbs. They've been quite tasty.

      Have a wonderful day, Alice!

  3. We kind of crashed this weekend. Our oldest daughter got married the 4th, and it's just been a very full couple of weeks. We actually had plans to do several small projects this weekend, and did do the bulk of them, but rested a lot, too. I picked green beans twice (Fri and Mon) and snapped them last night, and will can them tonight after work. Also prepped my food for two upcoming backpacking trips, one just 2 nights, and the other for 2 weeks (that one took a bit).

    Your weather sounds lovely for staying indoors, though I'm sure rain may get old when you experience it as often as you do. Hoping for some rain here soon.

    1. Hi Cat,
      Congratulations to your daughter on her marriage! Wow, you must be exhausted. Your upcoming backpacking trips sound like a great way to destress. Good for you getting your food prepped for both trips.

      I'll see if I can't blow some of this rain your way!
      I hope you're enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon, Cat!

  4. This post brought a smile to my heart! So cozy! The bread looks delicious! Have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi Lona,
      Thank you! I think cozy is a good word for this past weekend in my house. It did feel cozy.

      Wishing you a good afternoon and evening, Lona!

  5. You've been busy! I tried putting candy corn on brownies like that, but I remember them melting more than yours did and were unrecognizable blobs. I wonder if the brand makes a difference?

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I used Brach's candy corn and baked for 20 minutes at 350 in a pyrex baker. I did notice that after the brownies cooled, the candy corn looked less melted than when first out of the oven. Did the appearance of your candy corn change/improve after cooling? Do you recall what brand you used? I also wonder if the amount of time or temperature of baking makes a difference.
      Thanks for sharing your experience. It could be helpful and/or informative for someone else.

      Wishing you a wonderful autumn day, Live and Learn!

    2. I don't remember the particulars of the baking, but it's usually 325 for about 40 minutes for brownies. And I'm guessing it wasn't a name brand candy. But my conclusion was that I would add the candy in the last bit of baking. Enough to bake them into the top, but not enough to have them melt.

    3. Hi Live and Learn,
      so it was perhaps baking time or perhaps brand. I'm glad that you found a way that would work. I agree, adding the candy corn in the last 10 minutes or so would likely work out. Candy corn could also easily be added to the tops of frosted brownies.

      Have a nice evening, Live and Learn, and thanks for sharing your experience and suggestion.


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